In 2003, a breakthrough arrived in the solidly established automotive industry. It caused a shift in values, expertise, and the overall concept of cars. As an industry, it has not encouraged change or new developments. New developments here don’t mean luxury cars and sleeker styles; instead, eco-friendly practices and tackling transportation from an environmental perspective.
To challenge this long-standing monopoly of established brands and age-old practices, and to append sustainability to the most unsustainable yet widespread industry of automotive, Tesla Motors was invented.
The face of Tesla, Elon Musk stated that coming out of college he had three things in mind that would impact the future of mankind – the internet, making life multi-planetary, and sustainable energy.
Tesla was co-founded by Elon Musk and JB Straubel. They started in pursuit of making electronic vehicles (EVs) in a way never known before. Their main goal was to break the mold of what EVs stand for, what they can achieve, and how they make life better.
A conventional EV as perceived before Tesla arrived is a vehicle with very limited speed and one which doesn’t last long on the road. But Tesla brandished these views when they released their first-ever luxury sportscar in 2008 which was completely electronic.
Even just its outer appearance was very unlike what an EV was supposed to be. With the Tesla Roadster, which was faster than an Aston Martin Vantage, EVs were now desirable, faster, long-range, and for the first time, in demand.
Though it was a 100,000 dollar car accommodating only 2 seats, it garnered advanced bookings of around 10,000 sales.
The roadster was the first milestone Musk has in mind for Telsa – making a high-value car to prove EVs can be desirable, and it was achieved with style. Also, the newest model of Roadster is set to make a comeback in 2023, “it will pick up where the old model left off.”
The Tesla factory at Fremont edging the infamous Silicon Valley is a place unlike any other car manufacturing firm in the world. According to Musk, “the factory sets the tone of the quality of the car, so it is worth investing in making the surroundings pristine.”
He goes on to say “you can only judge a car’s beauty if it’s framed by beautiful surroundings.” With such focus, the factory at Fremont looks nothing like a conventional car manufacturing dungeon but an infrastructural masterpiece.
Since Tesla builds completely electric cars, they have their very own battery technology to improve the range of EVs on the road. In the process of inventing such technologies and applying them to vehicles, Tesla has acquired over 130 patents.
The basic concept behind the long-range they boast of is, they use high-density batteries by combining thousands of lithium-ion cells.
By employing these batteries, the Tesla Model S, the premium sedan released following the Roadster, achieved a top range of 480 Km. For reference, 250-350 km is equivalent to most gasoline cars.
Consequently, the model S helped Tesla catapult into the mainstream car industry. This marked the 2nd milestone Musk had in mind – making a mainstream EV that is better than a gasoline car and costs half as much as the luxury sportscar; once again, achieved with poise.
The Model S delivers instant torque and can reach 100 kmph from 0 kmph in just 5.6 seconds. This utility helps avoid dangerous situations, and there were multiple instances where passengers were saved from being crushed under collapsing trees.
The body of the car is designed with lightweight aluminum and the car has a low center of gravity. The power-to-weight ratio is regulated carefully to ensure perfect performance and range.
The Tesla cars reinvent the concept of driving as a whole. They promote one-pedal driving due to the concept of regenerative brake systems. The electromagnetic motor used by Tesla to propel their cars can also decelerate by cutting its current supply.
Also, if it’s spun in reverse, then the car goes in reverse; there is no need for transmission through clutch and gears. This leads to a spacious and uncluttered space inside the car.
The dashboard of a Tesla car accentuates its look. It is the perfect adoption of silicon valley tech. At Tesla, the cars are designed to conserve battery power. There are no wasted curves or unwanted mass as their shape is designed to maximize the battery range. They are the most aerodynamic automobiles in the market.
Like this, Tesla has successfully breached the top two tiers of the automotive industry. The third and final goal Musk has in mind is to release low-cost third-generation EVs in millions. Once this happens, we will be looking at a no-smoke, no-noise, and a much cleaner environment.
Apart from the US, Tesla has branches in Germany, Europe, and is looking to expand into China. Its factory at Fremont spans across 5 million square feet on two levels. Most of the factory is not currently utilized and is referred to as the dark side.
According to Musk, that space is being reserved for the production of high-volume economy-priced stage 3 vehicles and the future range of Tesla vehicles.
There is a lot of effort and attention that goes into making these rubbers hit the roads. Environment sustainability is at the core of activities at Tesla because in the words of Elon Musk “We shouldn’t play Russian roulette with the atmosphere; we only got one”.